10 Tips on Finding Your Style

Find your home decorating style with these 10 tips from Designer Karen McAloon, host of Find Your Style.

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1.Multiples. Do you have multiple items of the same color, shape or style around your house? This is one big "tell" I look for as I look through clients' homes. A kilim rug in the front hall, a kilim rug in the bedroom, another one in the living room? That means that you like kilim rugs. It sounds way too simple to be that easy, but most people stop seeing their style even when it's right in front of them.

2. Form over function. Do you work on a desk that is too small, but can't bear to replace it? Have a couch that is crazy uncomfortable, but it's still in you living room after all these years? That broken clock that's still up on the wall? Take a good long look, because this is a dead giveaway to your personal style. There is something you love so much about this piece that you have chosen its form over your need for function.

3. Where you shop. Do you browse the same store all the time, even when you're not looking to buy? Does a good flea market make you heart pound with excitement? Where you look for your furnishings speaks volumes about your style. New, used, found, handed down from family; where your furniture comes from represents your style.

4. Art. What you have chosen to hang on your walls says something about you. Art is purely personal, not tied to function or need and therefore is usually the best indication of your style. A vintage movie poster means you probably like classic lines in furniture, while an abstract lithograph likely means that modern design is your bag. Flea market oil painting of someone else's relative? Eclectic is your style.

5. Most recent purchase. A French country dish towel that caught your eye in the store, or an impulse buy of a Tiffany-style lamp that you thought you'd never like, but do. The last thing you bought for your home is a fantastic indicator of what your style is, especially if it is design departure for you.

6. What unites your stuff? Do you have terra-cottas, rusts and warm yellows all around your house? These are the sun-kissed colors of Mediterranean design, so you should look for rough-hewn wood tables, terra-cotta lamps and vases to polish up your style. Does all your furniture have lean, sharp lines, and you don't have a single thing on your mantel? Your style is thoroughly modern. Whether it's color, scale, shape or era, the uniting element in your home is the best place to start when looking for your style.

7. What's your favorite hotel? This is my secret weapon in finding a client's design style. Always stay in cozy country B&Bs? Like the modern city high-rise hotel? Or do you go more for the traditionally furnished places? Hotels have clear design styles, so use them to help you find YOUR style.

8. Odd man out. When there is one piece different from everything else in your room, take note. Chances are, this is one style you like, but are afraid to fully venture into.

9. Travel. Where you chose to spend your vacations, and what you bring back with you are great style indicators. Always go to Mexico on your holidays and have a full set of cobalt-blue wine glasses? You like the hacienda look. Love your family vacations at the beach and have jars of seashells in your bathroom? Coastal cottage is your style.

10. Best room in the house. What's your most fave room in your home? Look to your best design work and repeat it. There is nothing wrong with having all your rooms designed similarly. In fact, it can bring a calm and serene feel to your house.

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